Shakespeare’s 'The Tempest' to be performed at Puck Fair’s 400th anniversary celebrations, August 9th, 10th, 11th and 12th.
In 1613 Puck Fair, Killorglin, received its charter from the court of King James I. This was also the year that Shakespeare’s last play, 'The Tempest', was premiered at the same court.
To mark the historic anniversary of Kerry’s most famous horse fair, St. John’s Mill Theatre Company will present Shakespeare’s great play on each day of the festival. Performances will take place at nearby Ballykissane Pier on each subsequent evening during the run of the festival.
In 'The Tempest' Shakespeare takes a strong look at the nature of colonisation in the dynamic relationship between the conquering Prospero and the enslaved Caliban. Set on a remote island, the play deals with the magic of theatrical illusion and the grace of forgiveness as Shakespeare bids a beautiful farewell to the stage. It is an elegiac work, though full of comedy. It is also uncompromising: in its depiction of the treatment of Caliban (whom many critics see as bearing Irish characteristics) the play marks an early sense of unease with Elizabethan imperialism. There are therefore many links to be made between 'The Tempest' and the Irish experience.
St. John’s Mill Theatre Company is based in Beaufort, Co. Kerry. Since 1999 the company has presented Irish premieres of plays from around the world. Given in the open-air venue of the old watermill at Beaufort, productions have received critical acclaim and awards. Previous productions have included, The Storm (Aleksandr Ostrovsky), Divine Words (Ramon Del Valla Inclan), The Light Princess (George MacDonald), Halfact (Diane Glancy).
Casts of professional actors drawn from around the world have worked alongside local actors and musicians to engage audiences in physical theatre of the highest standard.
This year’s production will be directed by Fiona O’Connor. It will take place in the paradisiacal setting of Ballykissane Pier, where the River Laune meets the Atlantic Ocean overlooked by the Slieve Mish Mountains. The site marks a tragic moment in the Irish struggle for independence and is therefore doubly redolent of many of the themes underlying Shakespeare’s last work.
The money raised will help us to pay travel expenses for the actors to travel to Co. Kerry from Dublin and London.. It will help with rehearsal costs, hiring the rehearsal venue and actors fees. It will also help to go towards buying material for costumes. It will help towards hiring musicians, stage manager, printing programmes, posters, leaflets etc.